Twoferone memes

I got tagged by Minus the Spine and LitLove for two memes, so, without further ado, here they are. Happy Friday!

Five Kind Things Meme

The rules:

1. List five kind things you do for yourself.

2.List five kind things you do for your closest friend, partner or child.

3.List five kind things you have done for a stranger.

4. Have fun!

5. Tag five people.

Five Kind Things I Do For Myself
1. Read. Well, duh. But reading does so many things for me: Entertains, enlightens, informs. And keeps my brain well-oiled.

2. Blog breaks. Okay, I take blog breaks at work. When I'm at my wits' end or otherwise need a breath of fresh air, I post or peruse my blogroll.

3. Hang with my kitties. When my cats sprawl on top of me as I watch TV or read, I think they soak up all angst.

4. Go to Buddhist meditations and lectures. I just started this in earnest, as what I have been going through with my parents finally pried open my completely locked spiritual door. Catholicism hasn't worked for me since second grade, and I want and need some sort of spiritual grounding. Buddhism gives me peace.

5. Call my friends. I am not a big one on reaching out (who wants to bother other people?), but my friends are always there for me. That has been a big comfort.

Five Kind Things I Do For My Good Friends

1. Listen to them. At least, I hope I do. I make every effort, and even that is not enough. Listening to someone is the best you can do, and it's the hardest oftentimes.

2. Encourage them. I am not really great at giving them my time, but I do have lots of energy and ideas for when they hit their walls.

3. Loan them money. I'm not rich, and I'm certainly not philanthropic, but I don't hesitate when my friends need to borrow. And I'm not a nag about payback (I don't keep very good track, but the kind of people who are my friends are very scrupulous about paying back.) I think this is not only because it helps my friends and I'm not a money-grubber, but also because it's a way to give and I'm not good about giving time.

4. Don't hold grudges. If you've ever been close to grudge-holders, well, you know that this is the gift that keeps on giving.

5. Make them laugh. I don't think anyone can do this enough, and I need to work harder at this, but we do have fun and laugh, my friends and I.

Five Kind Things I Have Done For Strangers
1. Give money. That's pretty easy.

2. Give directions and even help them to their destination, if I can. (I'm not great at directions myself, so this is a trick.)

3. Compliment them. Sometimes, if someone looks like they could use a boost or even when they can't, a nice word goes a long way.

4. Give them advice. Sometimes friends have asked me to help their friends, and usually it involves writing or careers.

5. Let them have the seat.

Three things I had to Learn the Hard Way
1. "You can't get crucified for what you don't say." Still learning that one.

2. "Don't sleep with a man on the first date." Still learning that one.

3. "Mud too thick doesn't stick." An old Polish saying, which I think relates to peasants and hut-building. Nevertheless, it means when people get intimate too fast, it usually falls apart or doesn't last. This relates to point #2 very well. Still learning this one.

Tag (take your pick of the meme): Dorothy W., Iliana, Verbivore, Minus Spine (for the 5 Things), and Dark Orpheus.


Wednesday odds and ends

Book news: Finished Fred Vargas' Seeking Whom He May Devour. Sigh. Not as great as I'd expected...the characters weren't terribly interesting, and the author (who is a woman) kept making very sexist type of comments, in lieu of characterization. (i.e. One of the main characters kept referring to a murder victim as "the old bag.") I'm very hard to please when it comes to mysteries. I also suspect I read the wrong Vargas book. (Check out Smithereens' views on Vargas for a more balanced account of Vargas. Check out Smithereens' views for much good reading, if you haven't visited there!) I shall move on to Jacqueline Winspear's Birds of a Feather and start scrabbling around for Agatha Christie and PD James (is there a contemporary equivalent to these writers?). I'm really trying to bone up on mystery writing, as I'd like to dash one off under a pseudonym. "She says cheerily, her positive tones belying her delusions...."

On a more positive note, LOVED Sylvia Beach's memoir Shakespeare & Co., all about her literary bookstore. It's very light, full of anecdotes that never get too revealing (about her or the people she's informing us about) versus gossip or true revelations. I get the feeling she was trying to be discreet and diplomatic versus being a tell-all. Still, if you are a modern lit lover, this is a great read. She mentions several authors I would like to look up: Valery Larbaud, Mina Loy, Djuna Barnes, Bryher, and Mary Butts, among others.

Library travails: I finally got my library card! This is what happened: I returned the books to the outside deposit, which apparently was a mistake, since they were returned to the stacks without any record. I actually hunted two of them down, to prove I did indeed return the books (the librarian was looking at me askance. I don't think he believed someone who had books checked out from 11 years prior would a) find them and b) return them.) At this point, it was more about restoring credibility than getting a library card. Happily, the librarian appreciated my efforts, charged me $11 for a back fine and for a new card (a bargain, if you ask me), and issued me my new license. Which I will use very judiciously, I assure you.

For anyone dealing with seniors: As some of you bloggers may have issues with your elderly parents, here's a link to Jitterbug, a phone service especially for seniors. I am sending one to my mom and dad. My dad is going home, but he is not well enough to care for himself, and my mom (I fear) is in early Alzheimers or dementia. Her behavior has gone beyond mere stress from my dad's situation, unfortunately. This phone may be a literal lifeline. Hope it may help some of you, if you need it.